Two long shot Republican presidential candidates took aim at the nation’s capital on Sunday, vowing to make major changes to Congress as they search for traction with GOP voters.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman are lagging behind the Republican front-runners. Both are stuck in single digits, with Perry getting the support of 6 percent and Huntsman 2 percent of registered Republican voters in the latest Gallup poll.
Both candidates expressed confidence Sunday in separate television interviews that they can chase down former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday Perry said he would make “Washington as insignificant as possible” by “getting government out of the way.”
The Lone Star state chief executive said he would “make Congress a part-time institution” modeled after the Iowa legislature. (Perry has launched a bus tour across the state ahead of the January GOP caucuses there.)
By cutting the amount of time members spend in Washington, they would need to “have a real job” and work alongside “real people,” Perry said.
Lawmakers also would spend “less money” and stumble into “less mischief in Washington, D.C.” if Congress was in town less often, Perry said.
Huntsman who appeared on ABC’s This Week said there is a “trust deficit” between average Americans and Congress.
The former Utah governor said he would push for term limits for all members of Congress.
He also vowed to take steps that would close the so-called “revolving door” through which individuals in Washington move from Congress and government positions to the private sector — and, in some cases, back again.
“No one trusts government,” Huntsman said.